By Onozure Dania
Lagos—A traditional ruler, the Onibeju of Ibeju-Lekki, Oba Rafiu Olusegun Salami, yesterday, told a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere that he was chosen as king in 2000 by Ifa Oracle and not by an election.
Salami, who was testifying under a subpoena, said this during cross-examination before Justice K. O. Dawodu in a suit filed by Prince Taofeek Adegboyega Odukoya, challenging his ascension to the throne.
Joined alongside Salami as co-defendants in the suit are Lagos State Governor, Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Council, Prince Samilu Ogundana and Mr. Babatunde Odunaiya as first to fifth and seventh defendants.
The claimant is asking for a declaration that the government’s approval of Salami as Onibeju in 2007 contravened the Customary Law of Ibejuland and the Obas and Chiefs Law of Lagos State and was therefore void.
Odukoya asked for a declaration that he was regularly nominated by the Ladeso Ruling House and recommended for installation as Onibeju by the kingmakers.
He is also seeking, among others, an order that the fifth, sixth and seventh defendants are ineligible to be installed as Onibeju and should be perpetually restrained from interfering with Customary and Statutory Law relating to the Onibeju’s installation.
Salami, under cross-examination from fifth defendant’s counsel, Chief Babatunde Oshilaja, said he was chosen by the Odimoro Fraternity from a pool of eight candidates for the throne.
He said he was a member of Ladeso ruling house on his mother’s side, but that he does not know whether the ruling house was patrilineal or matrilineal.
Salami added that Ladeso, a female, was married to only one man, but “I don’t know the name of her husband.”
Justice Dawodu adjourned the case till May 26 for ruling and for continuation of trial.